Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused.
Plantar fasciitis is commonly thought of as being caused by a heel spur, but research has found that this is not the case. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
This article discusses the causes and symptoms of heel pain and will be of help to anyone suffering from plantar fasciitisInflammation of a layer of connective tissue causing pain and tenderness. The plantar fascia is a strong fibrous band of tissueA group of cells with a similar structure and a specialised function. Patients who are overweight or who spend the majority of their day standing are at increased risk. There are several theories as to the cause of plantar fasciitis but the most likely is that mechanical overload and excessive strain results in micro-tears in the tissue of the heel that in turn give rise to an inflammatory response. In the majority of cases your doctor will be able make the diagnosis from the symptoms and medical examination findings alone. Plain X-rays often pick up spurs of bone that are close to the attachment of the plantar fascia on the heel bone. Rolling your foot on a plastic bottle of hot or cold water is often very effective at reducing acuteHas a sudden onset.
Soft rubbery orthoses, also known as heel-cups, are also effective at reducing the acute symptoms of plantar fasciitis when walking.
Anti-inflammatory medication can either be taken in tablet form, an example being Ibuprofen, or in the form of a steroid injection.

In addition to the non-operative treatments listed above, surgery can also be used to alleviate heel pain. For further information on the author of this article, Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon, Mr Nick Savva, please click here. It is usually caused by straining or injuring the tissue around a muscle and most commonly affects the soles of the feet. This is a sharp or stabbing sensation in the region of the heel typically when getting out of bed in the morning or from getting up from a chair after a period of rest. Advanced age and a tight Achilles tendonThe tendon that connects the heel to the muscles of the lower leg.
Occasionally it is necessary to perform investigations to confirm the diagnosis or exclude other causes of the pain. Surgery to release the plantar fascia can be performed by either open or minimally invasive surgical techniques. In the vast majority of cases conservative, non-surgical treatment will be successful over a period of time although surgery may become necessary if the condition does not improve. Fortunately it is a self-limiting condition and in most patients (80-90%) the symptoms will get better within ten months. Sometimes X-rays are used to rule out breaks (fractures) in the bone or very rare causes such as infectionInvasion by organisms that may be harmful, for example bacteria or parasites.
Some surgeons also release the nervesBundles of fibres that carry information in the form of electrical impulses. A number of interesting studies are currently taking place into the effectiveness of shockwave therapy as a treatment for plantar fasciitis.

Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. The heel bone is protected by a specialised pad of fatOne of the three main food constituents (with carbohydrate and protein), and the main form in which energy is stored in the body. Injections of steroidsCompounds with a common basic structure, which occur naturally in the body. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Ultrasound may be used to confirm the diagnosis, as it is very sensitive at measuring the thickness of the plantar fascia.
These include failure to relieve pain, infection, nerveBundle of fibres that carries information in the form of electrical impulses. MRIAn abbreviation for magnetic resonance imaging, a technique for imaging the body that uses electromagnetic waves and a strong magnetic field. It is treated with physiotherapyThe use of physical therapies such as exercise, massage and manipulation.

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